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mare139 wrote…Comment #1 posted on June 29, 2010 at 10:00 PM

Sad news to hear about an old friend who was a truly innovative artist and MC. Ram was the brain and soul of the Iconoclast Panzerism graffiti movement during the early 80's, a new language onto itself which he combined mathematics, mysticism, dynamicism and other unique ideas for the enhancement and armament of the wild style letter form. As a sculptor he was ahead of his time and was unlike any before or during his time. He would often tell me to arm my sculptures against the forces of the art world that they should be ready for an eminent war of words and ideas. His letter sculptures reflected this preparedness for war, each letter character had a history and agenda onto themselves. For those of us who would visit him in the studio and see the alphabet assault vehicles suspended from the ceiling it was nothing short of a marvel and what would follow would be the drinking and discussions which were a labyrinth of philosophies, theories, scripture translations. I hope history is kind to him and his legacy as there are few that can fill that void. He had a school of students that were closely associated to Panzerism, among them A-One- (RIP), Toxic, Koor, Bil Blast, Doze and others. He was a member of our crew CIA back in the mid 70s and was also known as EG3. Kel and I express our condolences to his famil and friends alike. Roc On Rammellzee. Mare139 Kel First CIA




©2001, 2003 @149st Do not republish without permission.


Where and what year did you start writing on trains?

1974 the A train, Far Rockaway, Queens. I met SONIC 002 in 1976. At this time I graduated to wild style as a burner classed writer. SONIC was impressed! We wrote together several times.


Did you have a particular inspiration or mentor(s)?

My inspiration was my curiosity of why people wanted to write on trains, the biggest distribution gallery for any art form known to man. as for people that influenced me, on the outside, that would be SLAVE, IZ THE WIZ, SNACK, and GEAR. As for the insides, JESTER, SNAK, MOVIN and OU 3. JESTER did what we should call now, the "signoverture." a letter with a harpoon on it. I based most of my style on that. I often wondered why JESTER armored the "letter" with a barbed arrow.


What borough are you originally from?

Queens, A train, Mott Avenue. I was influence by PEANUT 2 because I actually saw him writing on the A train. The last stop in Far Rockaway.


List all the other names under which you are known?



How did you get your names?

I just picked them. All except THE RAMMELLZEE which was given to me by Jammel-Z for and from the Five Percent Nation.


What crews have you written for?

The Master Blasters or The Master Bombers owned by IZ THE WIZ, whom I met thru INK 76. No Competitional Bombers or No Comp Boys owned by ROTO and SNAK. SONIC 002's Boys Are Down and TOP owned by TO TOP...IN and BI. JESTER put me in The Crew and The Killer Crew, and the Majestic Kings. In 1979 I started my own click called Tags Master Killers. I also started NGG (Notorious Graffiti Gangsters and LAW (Legions Assassins Wizards). Then I was indoctrinated into CIA by DONDI himself.


Who was your most successful partner(s)?

"A1"...."B1"....and "C1"! I sent these people to meet Jean Michel Basquiat to tell him I was coming for him. This would be 1980. We of the "burner" class did not like this puppet king who never hit a train a rolling page. FAB FIVE FREDDY, cause of my technique with the "burner," asked me to interrogate Jean Michel before he got too powerful but, society is society, and they want to believe what they want to believe in "that" art world of the 1980s. They had no interest in the "burner!" For me they had an interest in why I used the words Ikonoklast and Panzerism. an interesting military tactic to enter New York City. FRED and DONDI loved me for it! but, they also said I was going too far. They said I was performing heresy. Heresy or not, I am the only one who has had three one-man museum exhibitions, because of my "Tanks", The "Letter Racers!"


What lines have you hit?

After CIA I became city wide, not a king, but an assassin. In that part of my history I was mostly a theologinist, as I, am, today. My letters are now 3-dimensional, so fact is fact. people like DONDI, (which in the book of names means "fun") stopped doing the "burner" once they got into the gallery system. they were more interested in being known for fame. I stuck to what I read in the library and the dictionary Illuminations of the Letter's Chassis, specifics, Weapon Slaving". It's aeronautics and aerodynamics. We must remember the monks of the 10th -- 15th centuries, and why they mechanized our same letters, like on the heading of the Long Island Press newspaper. we had invented nothing it was already there. Our "burners" only finished the job that the monks had started. I was hated by my peers for this knowledge.


When did you quit painting trains?

In 1980. It was a RISSK piece with DONDI. This is when DONDI dominated the number 2 line.


When you made the transition from trains to other mediums your art made a dramatic change. Your style broke away from many traditions and standards set in aerosol art. What was this process like as an artist?

My style did not break away from any traditional art form of the illuminations. I just went further, did what people wouldn't. We all painted three dimensional letters. I just finished mines by building them. Those rolling pages in those wind tunnels showed everyone what to do. Those who chose to complete "that" competition of the five boroughs of New York City, had their reasons to finish or not their studies. Even if their studies were rolling at the speed of 35 miles per hour.


What is the philosophy behind Letter Racer?

Alpha's Bet is not over yet! The Three dimensional "burner" should have been all of our philosophy. Writing for "fame of name" is a poor excuse to be a monk and is the reason why this culture is called sub culture. So,if giving this sub culture a scientific and historical backbone is a philosophy then so be it.


How does your work translate into performance art, acting, music clothing design, and sculpture?

I've already expressed that! But, it's hard to become a real live painting in a "B boy" style. but, I manage and we all could've managed. If we would have stuck to our principals, left by the monks.


Which projects do you find most rewarding as an artist?



Do you have any closing words or personal comments?

We failed what could have been "Our" culture. I went to the Puck Building (Guernsey's Auction) in June of the year 2000 and offered my services. Everyone who was anyone in this "sub culture" had works for sale. No one sold, except for a few. I felt that the "culture" died right there. There was too much "mannerism " not enough "burner"!!! Our futurism! We should have only stuck to doing the "letter" and joined together to fight the light dwellers. but, we will always be Kings From the Dark Continent. The veins of this Gotham! Remember this the next level, as you said, is the third dimension. I hope.

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"His letter sculptures reflected this preparedness for war, each letter character had a history and agenda onto themselves."


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Was just reading his bio in the style writting to street art last night. Was always an inspiration and have a ton of respect for his cereberal perceptions of writing.

We lost one of the brilliant minds of writing with this.



Travel the galaxies well.

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damn....man i didn't find out about him till the late 90's but his own vision and essence blew my mind. raw, original "i officially have nothing to do that you can put a definition on" type shit...the letter is a weapon.....


rest in peace.

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